Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Countdown to Halloween--Are You Ready for the Class Party?

If you're like me, you're gearing up for the classroom Halloween party. Have you done your homework with regard to this school activity yet?

Here are 5 tips for your child's class Halloween party:

1. Find out what foods are allowed. Store bought only? Any other food allergies to consider? Get the info so you can either bake a safe treat or buy something the whole class can enjoy. Now is the time to ask about a nut-free party environment as well.

2. Consider contributing non-edible treats. Stickers, Halloween-themed pencils or small toys add allergy-free fun to a party and best of all, everyone can enjoy them. Check the shelves at Target, Walmart or other discount retailers for great bargains and creative ideas.

3. Contribute some goodies for the entire class. Even if there are other foods at the party that are off-limits to your child (it happens) at least they will able to enjoy one thing that everyone else is eating. This will really help them to feel a part of things.

4. Be available the day of the party. Even if you can't be there, keep your cell phone on and be ready to answer questions. I've been called more times than I can count during a class party and answered questions about specific treats. I don't mind--I'm glad to either steer my child from an unsafe treat or allow them to have it if they can.

5. Role play with your child before the party. If your child is very young or new to nut allergies, this is especially important. Practice with them how to politely refuse food or ask to see a label. In general, tell them to avoid anything they're not sure about. It's never too early to start teaching kids how to handle their allergy.

4 comments:

CarlaMV said...

These are great tips, Jenny. I have found that during the noise and chaos of a party the teachers can forget about your FA child, especially if they're a little older. Remind the room parent or another parent that you know will be there, in case you can't be present. Happy Halloween.

Kelsey said...

Thankfully our elementary school/preschool does not do Halloween parties - one less day to fret about for an allergy mom like me!

Jennifer B said...

Excellent suggestions! I am so relieved. My son's kindergarten teacher decided to completely avoid food as part of the Halloween celebration. They will have a Halloween parade around the school and do some crafts instead. Phew! :)

Rhonda Lewis said...

Great suggestions! I definitely followed #4 today at the class party and parade and was fortunate enough to be able to attend. The parents were also asked ahead of time to bring allergy friendly snacks and the one mom who baked cookies included a note to say that they were nut free. There were several packaged snacks that were labeled as nut free and lots of fruit, veges and other snacks. The kids all had a great (and safe) time.